News

Australian Version 3.0 drafts in public discussion

Michelle Thorne, June 18th, 2008

ccau v3.0In preparation for the Building an Australasian Commons conference next week, the CC Australia team has released two ported Version 3.0 license drafts for public discussion: Attribution (BY) and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA).

CC Australia is focusing the discussion on these two particular licenses because they are 1) the simplest license (BY) and 2) the most complex (BY-NC-SA). These two licenses also contain almost all the relevant legal language from the remaining four licenses (BY-SA, BY-NC, BY-ND, BY-NC-ND).

CC Australia has done a magnificent job in explaining their approach to Version 3.0 and highlighting some key revisions (see also):

Rather than writing the licences as a straight translation from the Unported (ie non-country specific) licences provided by Creative Commons International, we’ve instead decided to base them on the excellent licences produced last year by our friends in New Zealand, which they in turn based on the England and Wales licences. The great thing about these licences is that they’re written in plain English rather than legalese – which means they’re much easier for non-lawyers to understand.

There have also been some modifications to improve the readability of the licenses:

We’re also adding some clarifying language on the licensing of derivative works to the BY and BY-NC (Attribution-Noncommercial) licences which isn’t in either the Unported licences or the New Zealand licences – so we wanted to see what people thought about this.

Like the New Zealand and UK licences we are basing the new Australian licences on, our v3.0 licences are very simply drafted. A lot of the language is drawn directly from the Unported licences, however it has been simplified and rearranged to make it easier to understand and follow.

This includes another neat idea:

The main feature is a series of lists that set out clearly what users can do, what they can’t do, and what they must do. Other than that, they contain the same basic statements as to disclaimers, warranties and introductory materials that are included in all the CC licences.

As did the other jurisdictions who have implemented Version 3.0, CC Australia is working hard to ensure that their ported licenses align with the Unported licenses. One notable exception affects the strict requirement to include a URL link to the respective CC license every time a work is used. CC Australia explains the change:

We’ve followed the UK and NZ example by loosening this up a bit, to allow you to provide this reference to the licence in any manner reasonable to the medium you are working in. This ensures, for example, that someone playing a song on their radio station can attribute the CC licence just by mentioning it, and perhaps providing a link on the station’s website, without breaching the licence. You could arguably do this under the Unported licence too, but we wanted to make it clear.

The community is discussing these issues and more on CC Australia’s mailing list. Come join the conversation!

Image: “ccauv3.0-feedback” © 2008. Creative Commons Australia. Some Rights Reserved. This work is licensed under CC BY 2.5 Australia License.

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